An administrative investigation revealed that both officers had disclosed that the comedian had died before his family was notified, which violated the department’s policy on sensitive information. Emiliano Silva, an initial responder to the scene of Saget’s death on January 9, texted his brother the news. Within minutes, Silva’s brother tweeted, “RIP Bob Saget.” Steven Reed, who was off-duty when he learned of Saget’s passing, told two friends via text. One of them contacted Silva’s brother to corroborate the breaking news.
These leaks “resulted in an influx of media inquiries at a time when Mr. Saget’s next-of-kin had not been notified and Homicide Unit detectives had not even arrived at the scene,” proclaimed Orange County Sheriff John Mina. Both officers have admitted fault. Silva said he “really wasn’t thinking” but “had no ill intent,” while Reed stated that he “probably shouldn’t have shared it in the way and the manner that [he] did.”
Saget’s family sued the Orange County Sheriff’s office and medical examiner in February to keep graphic details of the investigation within the department and family. It was too little too late.
“This case highlights how important it is to allow detectives in death investigations the time to ensure next of kin notifications are made before that information is disseminated to the public,” Mina continued. “The deputies acknowledged their wrongdoing and were disciplined for their actions.”